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My First Art Class – Week 3

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Getting Into The Groove, Sort Of

There are two sides to this class. One is the story of what was produced, finished, and seemingly ‘normal’ in an art class – the usual stuff. The other side are my failures I made during the class (aka experimenting/not listening to the instructor). I think a couple went unnoticed by the others! I was told that this mixed media class was all about experimenting – I sure did that today! I will start with the ‘normal’ stuff, but the comedy is at the end…

[This is a continuation of My First Art Class – Week 2]

Finished Product

Today was super satisfying; I finished my landscape collage. Being a checklist kind of guy, it always feels great to bring closure to a project! Thanks Beth🙂

Image Transfers

Today we explored image transfers. I’ll give you some background on the image I chose: This is my car from when I was teenager, a 1986 VW GTI. I loved this car! Jess painted this for me years ago – it was the car I drove when we first met. So I pulled the painting off the wall and photocopied it.

Beth demonstrated 3 different methods of image transfers:

1. Tracing the outlines of the image with a non-permanent pen on transparency then transferring it to another paper. I over dampened my paper, so you can see what happens. Oh well, this is all about experimenting isn’t it?

Image transfers    Image transfers

2. Tracing the image using carbon paper (I did it twice – once with each black and white carbon). These were done on my ‘reject’ prints that we made in week 1.

Image transfers    Image transfers    Image transfers

3. The last method involves glueing a copy of the image to a medium like wood or canvas. I didn’t jump into this today, but here’s a video of Jess cleaning the paper off, leaving just the ink which is transferred over to the wood panel.


The Failures

I did a few good ones today… As I discovered each failure, I quickly tossed it and moved on to the next… Here’s what I learned:

1. Image transfers with glue – This was #3 method above. So, I really wanted to try this one. I asked Beth if I could glue my photocopy to one of my other prints (like what Jess did in the video above). I wanted to use the watercolour painting (dark one above) I made in week 1. She said no, that it wouldn’t work because my print was paper. I thought she meant that it wouldn’t work because if I got the watercolour wet with the glue, it would ruin it. So, immediately after her telling me no, I went and grabbed a blank piece of construction paper instead. I slapped some glue on, then pressed my paper photocopy to it. As I was rubbing my photocopy down, I clued in… I successfully glued two pieces of paper together – congrats. I tried pulling them apart anyway, but I knew it was over. BAH, into the recycling!

Failed image transfer

2. Carbon paper – This was my favourite. After tracing my car once on a new sheet of carbon paper, I noticed the back of the carbon paper had the lines of what I just traced. I wondered if I were to lay that carbon paper on a new sheet of paper and rub it, if my car would show up… Hmm. So I grabbed some of the fancy paper (this was going to be a masterpiece) and laid the carbon paper down. I wandered over the the shelves to find something perfect to rub it with. A popsicle stick perhaps? I couldn’t find one.

Beth: “Derek, what are you looking for?”. Me – “Not sure, I’m all good…”. I eyed the drawing pencils, but they were too long. I thought that I could just bust one in half. But a few more seconds, common sense prevailed. Then I saw the clothespins – perfect. I discreetly took one apart, but I had a strange urge to break it as well, so I snapped it in two. Here we go, this will work well! I starting rubbing the carbon paper with the broken clothespin. I was on to something great here… After a few minutes, I wanted to check to see how it was coming along, so I peeled up the carbon paper. I was being so careful not to move it too much in case I needed to go back and do more. What I frickin’ disappointment that was. And a waste of perfectly good carbon [EDIT – I didn’t toss the carbon paper, Beth!]. Recycle…

Failed image transfer2

3. Glue backing to my collage – So I was ready to mat my collage. We put a larger piece of black paper on the back of our collage to make it look nicer and to hold it properly in the mat. Beth told me to put glue on the back of my collage, then glue it to a larger piece of black paper. She turned her back for no more than 6 seconds. I glued the larger black paper instead, then pressed the collage into it. She turned around and I said to her, “Sorry… I didn’t follow your instructions”, feeling like it didn’t matter. She knew better. Then I started pressing the collage into the over-glued paper. I started getting that irritating feeling of trying to press paper down with glue on my fingers. Awesome. And of course there was still glue left on the backing paper that was to touch the mat. Beth said, “It’ll be OK, you’re just stuck with this white mat forever now.” Good one…

Failed glueing to mat

It was definitely a good time experimenting in this class today, and Jess and I had a good laugh later that night as I told her about them… What a rook!

That it for this week… That 2 hours just whipped by! If you are interested in learning techniques like these, Beth explores them in our Mixed Media Classes. Enjoy your Thanksgiving weekend!

[Continue reading to Week 4]